Thursday, August 8, 2013

Distracting attention

The egregious Godfrey Bloom, UKIP MEP for Yorkshire has been in the news again. For the benefit of those readers who do not find the minutiae of British politics absorbingly interesting I had better explain that Mr Bloom, who has a track record of making offensive comments though he thinks of them as intelligent and amusing, said at a meeting in Wordsley, West Midlands
How we can possibly be giving £1bn a month, when we're in this sort of debt, to Bongo Bongo Land is completely beyond me.

Some of the money had gone on buying "Ray-Ban sunglasses, apartments in Paris, Ferraris and all the rest of it.
He has since explained that he is sorry if he caused offence and will not do it again. In fact, he has promised the Dear Leader that he would never use the expression Bongo Bongo Land again.

Too late. Or maybe not. All day we have had the Grauniad and the Conservative Party getting all worked up about the racism of Godfrey Bloom and UKIP while others have been getting worked up about the PC attitude of our media. Why shouldn't Mr Bloom say Bongo Bongo Land even if he is not talking about Cliff Richard's highly successful film?

The question should be what possessed Mr Bloom to phrase what is a perfectly sensible question in that ridiculous fashion. Oh, I was told, he is a Yorkshireman and he calls it as he sees it. Does he, indeed? I have lived in Yorkshire and what I remember is people being friendly, pleasant and polite.

What he has achieved is to divert attention yet again from the subject of foreign aid and its sheer wrongness to the question of whether UKIP is racist (some and some) and whether Godfrey Bloom should go on being and MEP (why on earth not?) and other suchlike fascinating subjects.

Valiant rearguard action was fought by James Delingpole, who wrote quite correctly:
If anyone has a problem with the factual basis of Bloom's argument, let them speak up now. I'd be truly fascinated to hear them make the case that – contra Jonathan Foreman's bravura demolition of the foreign aid industry Aiding And Abetting (Civitas) – our ringfenced foreign aid budget is anything more than a massively wasteful exercise in post-imperial arrogance, moral grandstanding and self-delusion. I'm also mad keen to hear them explain how – contrary to all evidence – standards of governance, transparency and moral compunction in failing African states are every bit as high as they are in the UK. And if they are unable to do this then the case against Godfrey Bloom is risibly weak. It depends entirely on the immeasurably trivial semantic significance of his use of the phrase "Bongo Bongo Land".
But it was Mr Bloom who diverted attention from his case (badly stated) to the semantic problem. Given UKIP's propensity for turning every political issue into a three-ring circus with themselves at the centre, one does begin to wonder what motivates them and what motivates Mr Bloom in particular.

While we are on the subject, I can certainly confirm Mr Delingpole's comment about Jonathan Foreman's book: it is an excellent and very well researched study of the foreign aid industry, its denizens and the harm it does to the recipients. I shall write a longer piece about it at a future date but can unreservedly recommend it.


  1. "Given UKIP's propensity for turning every political issue into a three-ring circus with themselves at the centre,[...]"
    I would suggest it is the Westminster bubble and the MSM, every single part of it, which turns anything it can concerning UKIP into a three-ring circus.
    Perhaps it is one of those "Establishment" things Farage was going on about.

  2. You can suggest all you like. Unfortunately, blaming someone else is another UKIP propensity. Maybe it's that Farage thing that everyone was going on about. Or maybe all they want is lots of media attention.

  3. Helen, there is nothing wrong in defending the Government of Wonga Wonga Land in providing the finances for 'Bongo Bongo Land's' space program.

    One small step for EUropeAid one giant leap for UNderstatement

    1. Who was defending Wonga Wonga Land? Not me.

  4. I find this whole "story" rather hilarious: for all of Dr. North's "thuses" and "therefores", he has taken exactly the same route as the execrable MSM.

    Indeed, *exactly* the same route as chums like "Helen" and others in various blogs have followed. (And God forbid you make any "suggestion" as to what might actually be happening.)

    At the end of the day, may I suggest to Dr. North (and Helen) that Bloom's comments, as ill-advised as they may have been, have been read *all over the world* by millions of readers. His comments may even have changed the opinions of one or two dozen people, no?

    How many people from all over the world have read the blogs of the anti-Europeans who now seem to be just as virulent in their anti UKIP attacks as the MSM? I cannot see much difference between what Dr. North (and Helen and others) are claiming, and the shafting by David Cameron and his lickspittles in the MSM.

    [Sorry I could only be bothered to send a copy of my post to EUReferndum to you. It's hardly worth bothering with an original reply, is it?]

    1. Dear Henry Wood,

      You are quite right. That was hardly worth writing? I read exactly those words in endless UKIP supporters' rants though, I have to admit, unlike them you appear to have a good knowledge of grammar and punctuation. But no, that was not worth writing. Why did you bother?

  5. The speech was made some time ago to a parochial audience in Worcestershire, and was obviously dredged up by the MSM to gain cheap publicity and sales in the political low season.

    Probably short of celeb wardrobe malfunctions in the holiday period.

    Agree with Helen's comment about Bloom and Delingpole.

    1. It is, indeed, a fairly typical silly season story.

  6. Dear Henry Wood, I have replied on other blogs with this titbit but it is worth reminding you here. I like a lot of people are completely disillusioned with the three main parties and for a while it seemed that UKIP may be able to fill the gap. However at present they are dismally failing to do as on a daily basis there are stories in the press about the dangers of leaving the EU that need to be refuted. It’s BS to say there is a MSM bias when UKIP don't even post a reply on their web site. They don’t even post their exit strategy, so how can people even begin to discuss the merits of UKIP.

    There are 2 groups UKIP have to win over to be successful and not just a spoiling party to the Tories. These are Labour stalwarts, the same people that Maggie won over and Cameron has now let down, and the Champagne Socialists, those with incomes over 60 to 70 thousand who more than ever these days rely on the government in some way , even if employed in the private sector.

    Now I happen to work with a bunch of the latter, and they are in the main very well educated and acutely aware that something is wrong but in the main oblivious to the actual cause. But not in a million years will these people support a party that has a buffoon such as Bloom letting out bloomers such as Bono Bono Land. But more importantly these intelligent people are very often these days not taught to think so need to be guided, something that UKIP is not doing. And just for the record there is more talk about leaving the EU than ever before, so it is imperative that people like me can point these people to sites were they can read about a coherent exit strategy so as to ensure them their jobs will not be at risk. We all know what the best site is and it’s NOT UKIP. For the above group there is no desperate imperative for the UK to leave the EU, because in the main they don’t think too much and can’t imagine that what the benefit to them would be.

    The other group, mostly blue collar workers, but also many skilled workers and office workers, in the main are less well educated, but do think a lot as their jobs demand that they think. They are thinking that UKIP is going to destroy their jobs. It’s no good UKIP supports jumping on a bunch of blogs calling everyone idiots and saying this is not true, when they present no evidence to the contrary. Carry on this way and UKIP will never get the support of this group in anything other than the Euro elections which is a safe protest.

    So Mr Henry Wood change at the top of UKIP is needed and needed fast or the entire rational for UKIPs existence will have vanished. You can choose to shoot the messenger if you like but that will not solve the perception that UKIP is the Nigel Farage show and nothing more.